the latest...

Check archived posts (right column) and stats (above) for general information.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

reveling in perfection... (pm.30.sep.15)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 63.5F (17.5C)
High temp: 76.1F (24.5C)
Rainfall: none

Our sky is 100% clear this evening -- as we finish off the month of September in a state of weather perfection.  Unlimited sunshine this morning gave way to very feeble cumulus development in the vicinity of the mountains for a few hours during the afternoon, but those clouds dissipated rapidly as sunset approached.  I recorded a humidity reading as low as 34% during the morning hours, which is the first time that's happened since May!  Temperatures are running on the plus-side of normal for the season.

In case anybody missed it, I will remind you that we had our official monsoon withdrawal declaration from the India Met Department yesterday evening, as the lingering traces of tropical moisture have finally been chased out of the northwest one-third of India.  That's quite obvious to see and feel, with all this sunshine and humidity way way down.  A big ridge of high pressure anchored along the Pakistan border with Rajasthan is the weather feature in control now, and it looks like it will remain where it is for several days at least.

There is some kind of a weak upper-level disturbance and pool of cooler air aloft expected to swing across northern India late Saturday into early Monday, but right now it seems that there will be very little moisture for it to tap into.  That means any resulting instability should be limited to perhaps a bit more mountain cloud development during the PM hours -- with chances of rain shower action at a minimum.  Our temps should remain quite warm as we progress through the first several days of October... and possibly beyond.

Check tabs above for THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK, THE TRANSITION TO AUTUMN, and other local weather info.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

MONSOON DECLARED DEAD... (pm.29.sep.15)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 61.2F (16.2C)
High temp: 74.4F (23.6C)
Rainfall: none

Yes, it's officially over -- and what a beautiful day it has been.  We had 100% sunshine this morning, and our skies are again 100% clear this evening at sunset.  In between there was a moderate build-up of cumulus clouds along the Dhauladhars, but none of it was ever enough to eclipse the sun.  Temperatures have been sqarely in the middle of the comfort zone, with humidity hovering right around 50%.

So today, September 29th, goes down in the books as the official end of Monsoon 2015.  The India Met Department issued their announcement late this afternoon for about the northwest one-third of India -- which of course includes us.  Our monsoon withdrawal is about 10-11 days later than the 25-year average, but is actually a week earlier than last year's.  And total rainfall for the month of September is currently running right around 2" (5cm) below normal/average.  Get a look at MONSOON 2015: RAINFALL TALLY (above) if you're interested in this season's details.

High pressure anchored over Rajasthan and Gujarat is responsible for a stabilizing and drying air mass across all of northwest India, and should remain the main weather feature during the rest of this week.  Although we always have to keep an eye on mainly afternoon cloud development along the mountains, it seems that the risk of showers has diminished.  There will be some cooling in the upper-levels of the atmosphere on Sunday, however, which could give us a slight chance of a PM shower by then.

Our temperatures should remain comfortably warm as we cross the line into October... check THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK (tab above) for the specs.

Monday, September 28, 2015

final transitions... (pm.28.sep.15)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 59.4F (15.2C)
High temp: 71.9F (22.2C)
Rainfall: none

Some large clumps/patches of clouds and fog are drifting around this evening at sunset, but this is not at all illustrative of the kind of day we've had.  We had pretty much unrestricted sunshine until the early afternoon, with then partly to mostly cloudy skies for just a couple of hours during the mid- to late afternoon.  It's been a very pleasant and comfortable day with humidity averaging in the 55-65% range -- and for the second day in a row there hasn't been a drop of rain.

As September comes to a close during the next couple of days, we're finding ourselves at the very tail end of this year's monsoon season.  The drying trend we've been anticipating is already in progress, after our wet spell last week, and all the data points toward a drier and drier air mass taking hold across most of the northwest half of India as this week progresses.  The risk of afternoon/evening clouds and patchy fog is of course still present here along the immediate front slopes of the mountain ranges -- and there could yet be a random/isolated/surprise shower popping up somewhere.  BUT, the overall trend is looking very positive, as far as our final transition out of the monsoon is concerned.

With a large ridge of high pressure building from southern Pakistan into Rajasthan, we should also be on the northern fringes of a warming air mass during the rest of this week as well.  It looks like we will make the September-into-October transition with temperatures running at least a couple of degrees above normal for the season.

You'll find lots of other info, including THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK, on tabs at the top of the page.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

a better situation... (pm.27.sep.15)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 58.2F (14.6C)
High temp: 69.8F (21.0C)
Rainfall: none

It's a pleasant Sunday evening -- with partly cloudy skies at dusk and the humidity hovering around 60%.  Maybe I missed it, but I don't think there was so much as a single drop of rain today, as sunshine was much more pronounced than it has been in about the last ten days or so.  I aso recorded the warmest high temperature since last Monday.

There were some random mainly light showers along the mountains of Himachal Pradesh early this morning and again during the mid- late afternoon hours, but none of those managed to threaten us here in McLeod.  Finally we're getting the first tastes of this latest drying trend which is expected to kick in in earnest during the coming few days.  All of the computer model data is painting a very rosy picture for most of northwest into central India this week, as a big ridge of high pressure develops over Rajasthan.  That's exactly what should be happening during the last several days of September, so let's see if we can really reap some tangible rewards.

As long as we don't get too much mainly afternoon cloud development here along the mountain slopes, we should see gradually warmer temperatures as this week unfolds -- taking us a few degrees above normal by Thursday.  Keep an eye on THE TRANSITION TO AUTUMN for any upcoming official monsoon withdrawal declarations from the IMD, and THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK -- both available on tabs at the top of the page.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

lingering turmoil... (pm.26.sep.15)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 59.2F (15.1C)
High temp: 67.8F (19.9C)
Rainfall: trace

The view is quite surreal out there just after sunset this evening.  The Dhauladhars are visible with some fresh traces of frozen precipitation, there's a nearly full moon in the eastern sky near a large towering cumulus cloud which is catching the yellow/orange glow of the setting sun, while thunder rumbles and lightning flashes just to our west-southwest.  There are also a few light sprinkles of rain -- but as has been the case all day long, the rain here in McLeod has not been enough to register a measurement.  We've again had great variability between clouds, fog and sun throughout the day.

Weak ripples of energy in the upper atmosphere continue to move across the western Himalayas, and as they interact with lingering tropical moisture in the lower layers, we're continuing to see a lot of cloud development, along with some isolated to scattered shower and thundershower activity between northern Pakistan and Uttarakhand.  The pattern will be shifting during the next 48 hours, however, as a ridge of high pressure attempts to build across northwest India.  All of the data points to a significant drying-out trend kicking in on Monday, with very quiet weather conditions expected to take hold for the majority of the week ahead.  As I've said about a million times... just because the overall pattern looks good doesn't mean that we will be able to take part in that here along the front slopes of the Dhauladhars.  We will have to keep evaluating and re-evaluating things on a daily basis.

If this clearing and drying trend really takes hold, then we'll be dealing with warming temperatures by Tuesday and Wednesday as well.  Stay tuned... and follow THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK and other weather information on tabs above.

Friday, September 25, 2015

struggling along... (pm.25.sep.15)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 57.4F (14.1C)
High temp: 65.8F (18.8C)
Rainfall: 0.13" (3mm)

It's a very dreary and gloomy evening out there, with thick clouds and fog, along with a few random light sprinkles of rain.  If you aren't an early bird, then you missed this morning's very nice sunshine, which was already being overtaken by cloud development between 9:00 and 10:00am.  We then had mostly cloudy skies with occasional fog for the remainder of the day -- with only a few fleeting glimpses of sun at times.  However, today's rainfall was mainly confined to a brief period of showers between about 2:30 and 3:15pm -- the total amount in the rain gauge at my location in the upper part of town was the smallest of the last four days.

Recent satellite pics show random, widely scattered shower and thundershower activity across the western Himalayan region -- most of which should rapidly die out as night settles in.  Despite all the cloudiness here along the mountain slopes, there is no major storm system in the area... only some weak wiggles in the rapid upper-level west-to-east flow triggering these afternoon/early evening showers.  It looks like our overall atmospheric situation is going to remain marginally unstable through the weekend.  That will keep us dealing with mainly morning sunshine followed by a lot of mid-day cloud/fog development, along with a good chance of isolated to scattered shower/thunder action during the afternoons.  Temperatures should remain in this pleasantly cool category.

By Monday into Tuesday the computer models are showing a large area of high pressure forming over Rajasthan -- for the first time this season.  A significant reduction in the moisture content of the air mass across the northwest one-third of India should occur, along with enough stabilization to cut down on the cloud/fog/shower development here along the front ranges of the mountains.  It's hard work to scour out this lingering tropical moisture, but let's see how things unfold early next week.

Get a look at tabs at the top of the page for lots of other weather information, including THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

both sun and showers... (pm.24.sep.15)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 57.9F (14.4C)
High temp: 65.3F (18.5C)
Rainfall: 0.47" (1.2cm)

There are a couple of patches of clear sky visible at sunset this evening, otherwise fog is dominating our weather conditions.  It's been one of those days of extreme variability -- with full sunshine in control until just before 10:00am, when we started to see some fairly rapid cloud development here along the front slopes of the Dhauladhars.  It was then partly to mostly cloudy until just before 1:00pm when the first sprinkles and light rain showers showed up.  We then had clouds, fog, and occasional light to moderate showers until just after 4:00pm.  The sun reappeared thereafter, but was never able to completely take over again.

Today has been another step of improvement over what we were dealing with earlier in the week, but we're still stuck with enough latent moisture in the air here along the mountain slopes to see a lot of cloudiness and these scattered rain showers develop by the afternoon hours.  There will not be a sudden and magical turn to reliably bright and sunny weather anytime soon -- as a moderate amount of moisture is expected to linger through the weekend.  It will only take a few hours of morning sunshine to destabilize our atmosphere and force us to dodge more mainly PM shower (or thundershower) action.  I keep refering you to THE TRANSITION TO AUTUMN tab (above) -- but what's written there is the best thing I can come up with to articulate this dying phase of monsoon conditions.

For what it's worth, the computer models are showing a more aggressive push of dry air and a developing high pressure ridge over northwest India by Monday or Tuesday.  Let's see what that might do for us.

Check tabs above for more info, including THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

autumn mingles with monsoon... (pm.23.sep.15)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 59.2F (15.1C)
High temp: 64.7F (18.2C)
Rainfall since midnight: 1.20" (3.0cm)
Rainfall since Tues morning: 4.40" (11.2cm)

We are shrouded in thick fog at last look -- though there has been extreme variability between sun, clouds and fog during the last couple of hours.  Our rainfall today hasn't been as heavy as it was yesterday into the overnight hours, but there were still some impressive downpours during the early afternoon that pushed our storm total well above 4 inches (more than 11cm) since about 6:30am on Tuesday.  It was fantastic to see the sun trying to break out during the mid- to late afternoon after many continuous hours of dreary and wet weather.

The storm system which has been plaguing us for the last couple of days is on its way out, with all of the dynamic/thermodynamic ingredients expected to continue dissipating and dispersing during the coming 24 hours.  There's still a weak upper-level circulation located over northern Pakistan this evening, and it will flatten out as it scoots across north India tonight into Thursday morning.  There's still a risk of a random shower overnight, but the trend should be toward clearing conditions.

A strengthening westerly flow in the mid- and upper-levels of the atmosphere will be the dominant weather feature during the end of this week -- and even into the early part of next week.  Computer model data is showing a steadily drying air mass over the course of the next several days, but we're going to have to watch out for cloud development and the risk of some random PM thundershowers until maybe Monday or Tuesday.  It's always a day-by-day thing to see if we can stabilize enough to get rid of our mountain slope convective issues.

By the way, the autumnal equinox occured at 1:52pm today -- that means we are now officially into the fall season.  Check out THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK, THE TRANSITION TO AUTUMN, and other tabs above for detailed monsoon rainfall information.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

soggy and cool... (pm.22.sep.15)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 59.4F (15.2C)
High temp: 66.9F (19.4C)
Rainfall: 3.20" (8.1cm) -- updated through midnight

We have clouds and light rain in progress this evening, with some very gusty winds at times here in the middle of the main market.  Today has been pretty much a total wash-out, with the first rain drops materializing at dawn, and numerous periods of moderate to heavy rain showers throughout the day.  There's also been zero sunshine, which has delivered the coolest high temp at my recording location in the upper part of town since way back on the 16th of April.

It took longer than expected to finally reach full development, but the weather system we've been anticipating since late last week has really packed a punch today.  This is a classic late monsoon / early autumn storm we are dealing with here across the western Himalayan region -- with an upper level circulation hanging back over central Afghanistan drawing a huge batch of lingering tropical moisture northward in its counter-clockwise circulation.  All of that moisture is getting squeezed out in the form of widespread rains as it gets lifted upward along the front slopes of the mountain ranges.  The latest computer model data this evening shows more to come for us -- with some models cutting off the most significant rains by noon tomorrow (Wed), while others keep the healthy downpours going until the wee hours of Thursday morning.

Anyway, what's left of the upper-level system will weaken and swing across north India on Thursday, which should quickly allow some stabilization to occur during the later part of the week.  The moisture content of our air mass will drop back to where it was several days ago, allowing us to resume our move toward a post-monsoon scenario.  As I mentioned last evening, it's still going to be tough to totally remove the mention of random thundershower potential from the forecast... until perhaps early next week.

Get THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK and other rainfall/monsoon/seasonal info on tabs at the top of the page.

Monday, September 21, 2015

plenty to watch... (pm.21.sep.15)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 64.0F (17.8C)
High temp: 72.6F (22.6C)
Rainfall: none

A partly cloudy and pleasant evening is in progress, and it's been a day pretty much full of alternating sunshine and cloudiness, with not so much as a single drop of rain.  That makes five days in a row of just barely measurable rainfall -- though we've lost our reliably unlimited morning sunshine that we were enjoying until just recently.  Humidity today fluctuated between about 55 and 75%.

If you've been closely following weather events, you're probably wondering, "where is the rain??"  Well -- there is still a complex weather system coming together across northwest India, though it is taking longer than originally anticipated for all the ingredients to coalesce into something tangible.  A strong autumn-like upper-level disturbance is currently spinning just west of Kabul, Afghanistan, as a lower-level circulation containing abundant tropical moisture sits over extreme northwestern Gujarat.  These two features will slowly converge tomorrow (Tue) into Wednesday, with an outbreak of significant rain and thunderstorms still expected to occur across a large area of eastern Pakistan into northwest India.  The latest data would suggest our very best chance of moderate to heavy rainfall to occur between tomorrow afternoon and late Wednesday night -- and we'll keep an eye on that to see if there might be further delays.

A cooler and drier air mass will sweep in by Thursday, on the back side of this large weather system, which should move us a step closer to more fall-like conditions over the weekend into early next week.  That doesn't mean that the thundershower risk (mainly PM) will entirely disappear... but it should be another step along the path of transition.

You can find lots of other important information on tabs at the top of the home page of this blog.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

slowly evolving system... (pm.20.sep.15)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 62.2F (16.8C)
High temp: 71.6F (22.0C)
Rainfall: 0.01" (less than 1mm)

There are some breaks in the clouds to the west-southwest, otherwise it's mostly cloudy at dusk this evening.  We started off this morning with a brief period of rain showers just after 7:00am, then had a mix of clouds and sun throughout the morning before the clouds took over during the afternoon hours.  There were a few more brief sprinkles and very light showers during the early afternoon, but as you can see from today's rainfall total, it was barely enough to measure.

The evolving weather system across northwest India is the sole reason the India Met Department has been holding off on declaring an official monsoon withdrawal.  A large batch of leftover tropical moisture is still sprawled just to our south, and it is expected to be drawn northward during the next couple of days as an upper-level disturbance and circulation center eases in from the west-northwest.  Models are still showing widespread rain development across nearly all of northwest India during the first half of this new week -- and there could be some pockets of locally heavy rain before late Wednesday.  It seems to me that the overall scenario is trending toward lower rainfall totals than the projections were suggesting just a day or two ago, but we'll just have to wait and see.  This is indeed an "autumn meets monsoon" kind of situation, so it will be interesting to watch.

A drier air mass will attempt to work its way in starting late Wednesday into Thursday, but there should be a taste of fall in the air as our temperatures cool off just a few degrees.

Check tabs above for lots of other local weather information, including THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK and THE TRANSITION TO AUTUMN.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

wet period ahead... (pm.19.sep.15)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 65.3F (18.5C)
High temp: 73.0F (22.8C)
Rainfall: trace

Our Saturday evening is a pleasant one, with a broken layer of mid- and high clouds across the area just after sunset, and humidity running close to 60%.  We weren't able to enjoy nearly as much sunshine today as we did the last few days, as clouds were already with us at sunrise, and didn't allow the sun to ever take over for more than a few minutes at a time.  Rainfall was very light, and confined to just a few periods of sprinkles and very light showers between 1:00 and 2:30pm.

Some interesting meteorological elements will be converging on northwest India during the next 24-48 hours -- a sign of the clash between lingering swaths of monsoon moisture and the approach of the autumn season.  A circulation center containing deep tropical moisture lurks just to our south this evening, and will be drawn northward during the next couple of days as a rather strong upper-level disturbance slides in from central Asia.  Computer models have been fairly consistent in showing increasing rain and thunderstorm development all across northwest India -- the most significant of which should occur between Monday and early Wednesday.  There will probably be some scattered thundershowers in the area later tonight and Sunday in prelude to the maturity of this evolving weather system.

By noon on Wednesday we should start to lose the best dynamic ingredients to sustain the rain/thunder action, with a gradual drying trend and return to a more stable situation expected for the remainder of the week.  Our annual McLeod Ganj Mela (carnival/fair) is in the preparation stages right now, and hopefully the first few days won't be a total rainout.  

THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK and MONSOON 2015: RAINFALL TALLY pages can be accessed through tabs above.

Friday, September 18, 2015

still no withdrawal... (pm.18.sep.15)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 64.0F (17.8C)
High temp: 76.1F (24.5C)
Rainfall: none

It's a partly cloudy and pleasant evening... at the end of another very nice mid-September day.  For the second day in a row we've had no rain at all, and though sunshine wasn't quite as dominant as it was yesterday, there was still a good amount of it to go around.  My high temperature in the upper part of town was the warmest I've recorded since last Saturday.

Today marks the average date of the official withdrawal of monsoon conditions in our area -- according to historical data provided by the India Met Department.  However, for the sixth straight year, we do not have that official declaration by this date.  If you'll refer to THE TRANSITION TO AUTUMN tab at the top of the page, you'll see a discussion of the challenges we face during the month of September, as drier air gradually chips away at lingering monsoon moisture and all of the back-and-forth business we have to deal with.

And though we've had two dry days, I'm sorry to report that the overall weather situation should be going downhill once again by the time the weekend comes to an end.  A rather potent upper-level disturbance sliding in from the northwest will draw a mass of moisture-rich tropical air northward ahead of it, which is going to set the stage for a widespread area of moderate to heavy rainfall across northwest India.  Currently, it looks like the best window for heavy rains will be between Sunday afternoon and Wednesday morning -- but stay tuned as we watch how it all evolves.  Our next drying trend will kick in by late Wednesday into Thursday.

Check tabs above for THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK, along with other local weather info.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

temporarily peaceful... (pm.17.sep.15)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 61.2F (16.2C)
High temp: 74.6F (23.7C)
Rainfall: none

We're looking at almost totally clear skies as the sun sets this evening, at the end of a day which has turned out to be full of sunshine.  There was very little cloud development -- and only in the immediate vicinity of the mountain peaks -- with no shower or thundershower action at all.  It was our nicest day since last Thursday and Friday, as humidity dipped close to 50% at times.

The weather charts are looking very interesting during the coming week or so, as we continue to deal with the subtleties and nuances of the dying stages of the monsoon season.  Right now it looks like we'll see fairly good weather, apart from the risk of an isolated afternoon thundershower, both tomorrow and Saturday.  Sunshine should be the main theme during the morning hours, with our temperatures remaining very comfortable for this time of year.

Worries and concerns start to enter the picture as early as Sunday, and especially by the Monday through Wednesday period.  A big blob of tropical moisture currently sprawled across central India will begin to surge northward in advance of a significant upper-level disturbance dropping in from the northwest.  The models are projecting an outbreak of moderate to heavy rainfall all across northern India by Monday, and the latest data shows an impressive amount of rain across a wide area during the first half of next week.  There's also going to be a dip in temperatures, as a cooler autumn airmass challenges all of that tropical moisture in place.

Keep up with the latest developments here, and check tabs at the top of the page for THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK and a discussion about THE TRANSITION TO AUTUMN, among other things.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

pains of transition... (pm.16.sep.15)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 52.7F (11.5C) -- during rain @ 2:20pm
High temp: 70.1F (21.2C)
Rainfall: 1.09" (2.8cm)

We have partly cloudy skies this evening as darkness settles in, and there is a dusting of white visible all along the Dhauladhars.  The batch of thundershowers that moved through between about 1:00 and 3:00pm was very robust, and included a period or two of small hail here in the middle of McLeod.  There was also a lot of wind as the storminess was coming to an end, and then a gradual return to sunshine as we finished off the day.  The low temperature of the day occurred during the middle of the rain/hail, and was the coolest I've recorded since way back on the 30th of April!  But -- the temp rebounded very quickly by the late afternoon.

So, it was an active Wednesday, with more of these very extreme swings from sunshine to clouds and thundershowers and back again to sun.  This kind of variability and volatility is part and parcel of what September is all about -- as blasts of drier air from the west-northwest keep trying to permanently displace the lingering monsoon moisture ebbing and flowing across much of the Indian subcontinent.

And this transition phase is far from over.  Extended range data from various computer models shows more surges and retreats, ebbs and flows, and general volatility in our overall weather pattern all the way through the end of the month.  The early total withdrawal of this year's monsoon season we had been fantasizing about does not look like it will square with reality.

Check tabs above for THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK and plenty of other local weather information.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

concerns of the season... (pm.15.sep.15)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 62.2F (16.8C)
High temp: 71.6F (22.0C)
Rainfall: trace

It's obviously getting dark earlier, as we move toward the autumn equinox in about a week's time -- and this evening we have only a few clouds lingering just after sunset.  After three days in a row of measurable rainfall, we had just a trace of precipitation today which came in the form of a few brief periods of sprinkles and light showers during the mid-afternoon -- mainly between 3:00 and 4:00pm.  There was some thunder to accompany those rain drops, but at least here in the immediate McLeod area, rainfall today was much less significant than it has been the last couple of days.  We also had more sunshine -- both this morning and again late this afternoon and evening.

This time last week all signs were pointing toward an early monsoon withdrawal across much of Himachal Pradesh, but things have changed.  It's now been exactly one week since the last official monsoon withdrawal declaration was made (for points west-southwest of us), and the India Met Department seems to be concerned that some potential resurgences of deeper tropical moisture creeping in from the southeast need to be watched carefully.  It does indeed look like there are some issues to watch during this latter half of the month which could allow at least a couple of waves of late-season monsoon moisture to revisit the front slopes of the north Indian Himalayas.  The first one could arrive over the weekend, with another one possible during the middle of next week.

All of this means that we are still not out of the woods and in the clear.  We can enjoy these nice periods of sunshine while they last, but should stay prepared for occasional onslaughts of moderate to heavy rain showers to occur mainly during the PM hours.

THE TRANSITION TO AUTUMN, MONSOON 2015: RAINFALL TALLY and THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK are just a few tabs at the top of the page you might be interested in checking for more information.

Monday, September 14, 2015

conflicted atmosphere... (pm.14.sep.15)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 57.0F (13.9C) -- at 6:00pm during rain
High temp: 71.2F (21.8C)
Rainfall: 1.50" (3.8cm) -- updated @ 8:05pm

This afternoon and evening's rain shower action seems to be coming to an end at this very moment, with the clouds breaking up rapidly as well.  The morning started off characteristically sunny, but it was already becoming partly to mostly cloudy by about 10:30am, and then completely overcast with some fog by about 1:00pm.  There were some brief, light rain showers between 2:00 and 4:00pm, but it wasn't until after 5:00pm that we started to get a few waves of heavy downpours.  The rainfall report (stats above) does not reflect what has happened during the past couple of hours, so check back later this evening for an update.

Normal/average rainfall for the month of September is very close to 16 inches (40.5cm) -- which makes it the third wettest month of the entire year.  As of earlier this afternoon, we'd only received about 6.5" (16.5cm) for the month, so we've been running well behind the pace.

Although the computer models' projections and the overall weather pattern have been very uneventful for most of northwest India recently, the ground-truth reality here along the front slopes of the Himalayan ranges is a different story.  It's what we deal with each and every year.  We should stay prepared for a good amount of mainly morning sun followed by cloud development by mid-day into the afternoon hours -- and then periods of showers/thunder around the area during the afternoons/evenings.

Explore tabs above for THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK and plenty of other info that will help you better understand the nature and character of our climate here in McLeod Ganj.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

september is like this... (pm.13.sep.15)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 63.5F (17.5C)
High temp: 72.3F (22.4C)
Rainfall: 0.41" (1.0cm)

At last look, there were still a lot of clouds lingering around the area, with some patches of fog as well.  Once again our fantastic morning sunshine gave way to an aggressive build-up of cloudiness by the noon hour, with a few periods of showers and thunder which started almost exactly at the same time as yesterday's -- 2:45pm.  But today the amounts were a bit more significant, and we've had very little sunshine to boost our spirits late this afternoon and evening.  My high temp in the upper part of town was the coolest since Monday of last week.

I want to point you again to THE TRANSITION TO AUTUMN tab (above), which pretty much sums up my thoughts and opinions about this very fickle month of September that we are now reaching the middle of.  I am being redundant if I restate it all on a daily basis, so please check out that discussion if you haven't already.

Computer models have been characteristically hopeless in catching this shower and thundershower development right along the front slopes of the Dhaualdhars the last couple of days, and they continue to show nothing more than the most isolated development during the afternoon hours during the coming several days.  But we know that we are in a unique position here, compared to locations further downhill, so continue to be braced for deceptive morning sunshine followed by a fairly good chance of some showers/thunder during the PM hours...

Saturday, September 12, 2015

a backward slip... (pm.12.sep.15)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 64.6F (18.1C)
High temp: 77.1F (25.1C)
Rainfall: 0.08" (2mm)

We have partly cloudy skies this evening as the sun goes down.  Our morning was stunningly gorgeous -- again -- but we had a more impressive build-up of clouds taking place by the noon hour, which led to some rumbling thunder and a few brief, light rain showers off and on between about 2:45 and 4:45pm.  There were glimpses of sun even in the midst of the showers, with sunshine the main theme throughout the evening.

Today's weather was a very good example of why I tend to spend the month of September on pins and needles.  Though we had four days in a row without a drop of rain, it doesn't take much to trigger a more significant build-up of clouds and some random showers and thundershowers along the front slopes of the mountains here in these dying stages of the monsoon season.  Although the rain was light, it's a reminder that we can't get over-confident about unlimited sunshine and dry weather - yet.

All of the available computer model data continues to show very little drama for us during the next week at least... and that means there should be plenty of sunshine on a daily basis, with only isolated mainly PM shower/thunder development around the area.  It's actually a pretty good scenario for this early in September... our recent dry weather has been a week or two ahead of the normal curve.

THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK and lots of other info can be found on tabs above.

Friday, September 11, 2015

another gorgeous one... (pm.11.sep.15)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 63.5F (17.5C)
High temp: 79.1F (26.2C)
Rainfall: none

We're in the midst of another beautiful September evening, with only traces of leftover clouds along the mountains just after sunset.  Sunshine was just as plentiful today as it was yesterday -- and maybe even more so.  The clouds that did develop remained in the immediate vicinity of the Dhauladhars, and only dimmed the sun for a brief period during the mid-afternoon here in town.  As far as the temperature is concerned... we continued our upward trend which has been ongoing throughout the week.

There have been no more official monsoon withdrawal declarations from the India Met Department during the last three days, but it's quite obvious that monsoon conditions are not present across most of northwest India.  There are certain criteria used by the IMD to declare both onset and withdrawal of the monsoon each year, and all of those conditions must be met in a particular district of a particular state before official word goes out.  I would expect that to happen across more sections of northwest India either tomorrow or Sunday.

As the discussion on THE TRANSITION TO AUTUMN tab above makes very clear, September is a notoriously fickle month for us, so even though we are currently enjoying excellent weather conditons, be aware of the fact that there could still be another resurgence (or two) of tropical moisture sometime before the end of the month.  In fact, computer models are showing at least a couple of weak to moderate waves of moisture lapping up against the mountains of Himachal Pradesh during the next two weeks.  Of course we will watch....

THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK and plenty of other info can be found on tabs at the top of the page.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

it's spectacular... (pm.10.sep.15)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 62.4F (16.9C)
High temp: 77.3F (25.2C)
Rainfall: none

Just spectacular.  That's about all I can say about our weather conditions this evening at sunset -- or for almost all of the day, actually.  Brilliant morning sunshine only yielded to a moderate amount of cumulus cloud development in the vicinity of the mountains by the noon hour, but those clouds never really took over, and had largely dissipated again by the late afternoon.  It was the sunniest day since mid-June here in McLeod, and the warmest day since the 28th of June.  AND -- today marks the third day in a row without so much as a drop of rain -- the first three-day rainless streak since 16-18 June.

Those are some significant landmarks for us to be celebrating this early in the month of September, but it certainly looks like we've got a much different end-of-monsoon scenario to enjoy this year; compared to what we've seen since 2010.  Humidity readings today dipped as low as 50%, after hovering mainly in the 62-75% range during the first part of the week.  And that's just more evidence piled on that significant tropical moisture has been chased away.

According to all of the computer model data, we should stay in the clear for the next week to ten days at least.  We'll have a weak to moderate west-northwesterly flow in the mid- and upper levels of the atmosphere as next week arrives, and that should keep anything other than some random/isolated afternoon mountain thunder development from occurring.  There are hints of some kind of a retrogression of tropical moisture into our neighborhood after about the 22nd of the month, but that is far enough away that we'll have plenty of time to see whether or not it actually takes shape.

Check tabs above for THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK, monsoon rainfall info, and THE TRANSITION TO AUTUMN.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

two rainless days... (pm.09.sep.15)>

Wednesday's stats:

Low temp: 62.1F (16.7C)
High temp: 74.8F (23.8C)
Rainfall: none

Today is definitely the new winner of the "finest of the season" award -- with full sunshine this morning yielding to partly cloudy skies which only briefly turned mostly cloudy for an hour or two during the middle of the afternoon.  For the second day in a row, there was not a drop of rain in the immediate McLeod vicinity.  Believe it or not, the last time we had two totally dry days back-to-back was on 27-28 June!!  And there has only been 0.17" (4mm) of rain in the past four days.

It is a pleasant (and somewhat shocking) surprise to see that the models have had a very good handle on the decreasing moisture content of the air mass here across Himalayan north India during the past few days.  Today I recorded humidity readings averaging around 67-70% throughout the day, which is a sign that we are dropping into a range that does not adequately sustain monsoon conditions.  As most of us know very well, there can be significant cloud/fog development and random thundershowers here along the front slopes of the Dhauladhars -- even if the models/data don't show anything happening.  That's why it's been nice the last couple of days to see that we are getting some tangible evidence of a turn to better weather.

We need to keep in mind the risk of a random/rogue thundershower during the afternoon or early evening hours one of these days, otherwise, it looks like generally quiet and calm conditions ahead -- as we progress through the next ten days or so.

You can get a look at monsoon withdrawal information on THE TRANSITION TO AUTUMN (tab above), as well as specifics about the forecast on THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

not a drop today... (pm.08.sep.15)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 60.8F (16.0C)
High temp: 72.5F (22.5C)
Rainfall: none

We are totally socked in with clouds and some fog at sunset this evening, at the end of a day which has actually been quite a good one.  Gorgeous sunshine this morning gave way to scattered cloud development by the late morning, but we had occasional sunshine throughout most of the afternoon.  It's only been since about 5:30pm that the clouds have thickened up and fog has formed.  If there was a drop or two of rain, I missed it, making this the first totally dry day since the 27th of July according to my books.

Check out THE TRANSITION TO AUTUMN tab above if you haven't already, for a discussion concerning the issues that we normally deal with during this very fickle month of September.  Computer models are advertising a very significant retreat of tropical moisture from northern India -- effective immediately -- but here along the slopes of the Dhauladhars we are often deprived of much immediate benefit of that.  Although every single set of model data available is painting a dry picture for us during the coming week to ten days (or more), we'll just have to take it day by day to see whether or not we can truly escape from the daily build-up of clouds/fog and the potential for mainly afternoon thundershowers.  Things have obviously improved markedly during the past three weeks or so -- but we're not entirely breaking free just yet.

One thing looks fairly certain, and that's that we'll be dealing with pleasantly comfortable temperatures these next couple of weeks.

THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK (tab above) contains forecast details.

Monday, September 7, 2015

drying trend to continue... (pm.07.sep.15)>

Monday's stats:

Low temp: 59.4F (15.2C)
High temp: 71.0F (21.7C)
Rainfall: 0.17" (4mm)

100% sunshine early this morning again gave way to rapid cloud development before noon, with partly to mostly cloudy skies through the mid-afternoon hours.  There were a couple of brief periods of showers and thunder between roughly 2:00 and 3:30pm, but at least at my location here on Tushita Road below the mountaineering center, amounts were relatively light.  The sun returned during the late afternoon and evening.

It's going to be a very interesting week -- as the data continues to point toward a significant drying trend between tomorrow (Tue) and the weekend.  The average moisture content of our air mass will continue to decrease, almost on a daily basis, but how that actually plays out here along the slopes of the Dhauladhars remains in question.  Let's stay prepared for cloud development at some point by the mid-day hours, along with the risk of some random thundershowers around the area during the afternoons.  Our temperatures show signs of warming up day by day.

Get a look at THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK, along with monsoon rainfall and other info on tabs at the top of the page.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

some positive moves... (pm.06.sep.15)>

Sunday's stats:

Low temp: 59.7F (15.4C)
High temp: 73.2F (22.9C)
Rainfall: trace

Apart from a few lingering patches of cloudiness, we have mostly clear skies as the sun sets this Sunday evening.  Today was probably the new 'finest of the season' -- with sunshine dominating all the way into the early afternoon hours, and then posing a serious challenge to attempts at cloud formation throughout the rest of the day.  There were a few rumbles of thunder and some brief, fleeting sprinkles of rain between about 2:00 and 3:00pm, but that was the extent of it.

It seems that there are always unwelcome surprises during the month of September, in the midst of the atmosphere changing its character and gradually morphing into the autumn season -- but I have to say -- all of the data I'm seeing the last couple of days is consistently pointing at a signficant retreat of a large percentage of the tropical moisture that has remained here along the mountain slopes of north India.  We will have to patiently wait and watch how all of this plays itself out during the coming couple of weeks (or more), but right now it seems there is a good chance that we are right on the cusp of a turn to drier weather conditions.

BUT -- even when the models are painting heavenly scenarios, the ground-truth reality can be something totally different here in our famously fickle location along the Dhauladhar range.  There could still be significant cloud build-ups on a daily basis, along with a risk of an isolated shower/thundershower.  Looking on the bright side, it could be that we end up with the earliest official monsoon withdrawal we've seen in the past six years.  Stay tuned.

THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK and lots of other info can be found on tabs at the top of the page.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

the withdrawal begins... (pm.05.sep.15)>

Saturday's stats:

Low temp: 61.7F (16.5C)
High temp: 70.5F (21.4C)
Rainfall: 1.29" (3.3cm) -- updated @ 8:00pm

It's been a full afternoon and evening of stubborn showers, and now at sunset, there are still some mainly light showers scattered around the area.  Full sunshine started off our Saturday, but already by 9:30am there was a good amount of cloud development taking place, with the first rain showers materializing around 1:15pm.  Since then, we've had at least three periods of moderate to quite heavy downpours, with several other brief periods of lighter showers.  There have also been many glimpses of sunshine in the midst of it all.

The big news of the past 24 hours is the fact that there has been the first official declaration of the withdrawal of monsoon conditions of the year -- though it's only for extreme western portions of Rajasthan.  That's usually where it starts, however, and the way the overall pattern is looking during the next ten days to two weeks, it seems like a fairly good bet that we'll have an on-time monsoon departure this year.  Check out THE TRANSITION TO AUTUMN tab above for more analysis, along with up-to-date info on official monsoon withdrawal declarations from the India Met Department as they are announced.

An upper-level disturbance and batch of cooler air aloft is swinging southeastward into northern India at the moment, and will continue to provide us with a very good chance of scattered showers and thundershowers through Sunday evening.  Models are advertising the most aggressive push of drier air this season in the wake of this system -- which could put us in line for a significant amount of drying starting on Tuesday and continuing through next week.  It's step by little step.

Remember to check tabs above for THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK and other info.

Friday, September 4, 2015

push-pull of the season... (pm.04.sep.15)>

Friday's stats:

Low temp: 61.5F (16.4C)
High temp: 73.9F (23.3C)
Rainfall: 0.09" (2mm) -- updated @ 7:50pm

There are patches of clouds and fog hanging around this evening just after sunset, but some large patches of clear sky as well.  I'm thinking we had the greatest percentage of sunshine today than we've seen since way back in June -- clouds were slower to develop this morning, and really all throughout the afternoon the sun was peeking through from time to time.  There were some brief light showers and thunder starting to appear after about 3:30pm, but at least up til now, rainfall amounts have been insignficant compared to the past several days -- at least here in our immediate area.

Humidity readings today fluctuated between 62% and 85%, and that's well below the levels necessary to sustain significant fog development.  Of course that's been the case on most days during the past couple of weeks or so, as tentative pushes of drier air from the west-northwest try desperately to eat away the lingering tropical moisture lying along the front slopes of the north Indian Himalayas.  We've had extreme variability between sun, clouds and occasional very healthy downpours of rain, which is actually right on target for the first couple of weeks of September.  You can see from the WETTEST MONTHS tab at the top of the page that normal rainfall for this month is less than half of what we normally get during August -- so -- in spite of the periods of moderate to heavy showers at times, the trend will be toward less and less daily amounts as the month wears on.

Current data would suggest that we'll dry out even more significantly after about Tuesday of next week -- but that doesn't mean that we won't continue to battle with a daily build-up of clouds and random showers.

Lots of other info, statistics and analysis of weather stuff can be found on tabs at the top of the page.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

suncloudsrainrepeat... (pm.03.sep.15)>

Thursday's stats:

Low temp: 57.4F (14.1C)
High temp: 72.5F (22.5C)
Rainfall: 1.52" (3.9cm) -- updated @ 7:55pm

We have partly cloudy skies as darkness settles in this evening, here at the end of yet another day of extreme variability between sun, clouds and downpours of rain.  The most significant rainfall since midnight actually occurred between about 4:45 and 6:00am, when 0.90" (2.3cm) fell.  But we had another round of occasional rain, thunder and even some small hail from 3:40 until around 5:30pm which contributed at least another 0.50" (1.3cm) to the day's total.  In between those two periods of significant rainfall we were able to enjoy plenty of sunshine -- throughout the morning into the early afternoon hours.

I'm sort of running out of things to say lately... if you click through archived blog posts from the last couple of weeks on the right-side column of the page, you'll find all kinds of discussion and analysis of the dynamics present around here during the waning weeks of the monsoon.  Also you can check out several different tabs at the top of the page which detail rainfall averages and totals, average temperatures, a look forward to the autumn season, along with THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

swinging between extremes... (pm.02.sep.15)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 56.5F (13.6C) -- at 2:40pm during heavy rain
High temp: 70.3F (21.3C)
Rainfall: 2.31" (5.9cm)

  • Today's rainfall was the largest daily total since 15 August
  • Today's low temperature was the coolest since 15 June
It's partly cloudy at the moment, but there are some freshly developing thundershowers just west of us which could be a threat yet this evening.  We've had another day of incredible extremes -- from full sunshine this morning and again late this afternoon, to rapidly building clouds which led to a period of very heavy rainfall between roughly 1:30 and 3:10pm.

Macro-scale features are totally unimpressive, but we're still dealing with late monsoon season mountain factors here along the front slopes of the Dhauladhars.  That's providing us with daily periods of nice sunshine, but also daily spells of fairly significant rain and thunderstorm activity.  Models continue to show some kind of drying trend as we head toward the end of the week, but as I've said many times lately, I don't put a whole lot of stock in that guidance.  Best to stay prepared for wild swings between sunshine, clouds/fog, and sudden downpours -- mainly during the afternoon through the early evening hours.

Just for the sake of perspective:  Our humidity today ranged from 64% to 96% -- but during the first two weeks of August our daily humidity was stuck in the 90-100% range for many days on end.

Check tabs above for more seasonally pertinent info........ including the hot-off-the-press page entitled THE TRANSITION TO AUTUMN.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

moody september... (pm.01.sep.15)>

Tuesday's stats:

Low temp: 61.3F (16.3C)
High temp: 69.9F (21.1C)
Rainfall: 0.58" (1.5cm) -- total for the day

This first evening of September is a gorgeous one... with only a few scattered patches of clouds left over as the sky darkens.  We did have a rather active few hours between about 2:15 and 5:30pm, with lots of cloudiness, some occasional fog, and several periods of moderate rain showers and thunder.  All of that followed a sunny early morning which yielded to the first traces of cloud development by 10:00am.  My high temp in the upper part of town remained just below the 70ºF mark for only the second time since the 9th of August.

If you've been here riding out the monsoon season, the arrival of September is at least a psychological boost.  Although the rains don't suddenly and miraculously stop as the calendar turns, there are improvements which become more and more apparent as we progress through the month, and we usually have an official end-of-monsoon declaration from the Indian Met Department by the end of the third week.  But every year is different and filled with its very own nuances and quirks -- so follow along here if you're interested in how things are playing out.

The way things stand at the moment, the extended range models are showing a very lackluster pattern all the way into the middle of September.  That means there's a total absence of any indication of a resurgence of deep tropical moisture... which is pretty good news for us up here along the slopes of the Dhauladhars.  However, we also don't have a definitive "clean sweep" of lingering tropical moisture showing up on the horizon just yet.  SO -- extreme variability between sun, clouds and mainly PM showers/thunder will continue to be the theme.

Check MONSOON 2015: RAINFALL TALLY for the latest precipitation data for this season, along with THE 7-DAY OUTLOOK on tabs above.